(TibetanReview.net, Mar12’16) – More than 740 municipalities across the Czech Republic expressed their support for and solidarity with the Tibetan people on the 57th anniversary of the latter’s uprising against Chinese occupation of their homeland by participating in a “Flag for Tibet” event, reported praguemonitor.com Mar 10. Under it the municipalities put on prominent display on their city halls the Tibetan flag in order to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Chinese annexation of Tibet.
Among the prominent spots where Tibetan flags were displayed were the main square in the Czech town of Jihlava, the central building of the Liberec Regional Authority, and the town hall buildings of both the Prague 10 and Prague 4 districts, reported radio.cz/en Mar 10. It added that flags were also displayed from the windows of private individuals, by various public officials, celebrities, schools, cinemas and so on.
The report noted that the number of municipalities taking part in 2016 was the largest since the annual event was started in 1996. It added that some councils were reportedly intending to leave the flags until the end of March, when a visit to Prague was expected by the Chinese president. Apart from more than 740 municipalities, 113 Czech schools hoisted the Tibetan flag on Mar 10, said the praguemonitor.com report.
The report said Many Czechs viewed the Tibetan cause – with the country having fallen under Chinese communist dominance during the 1950s – as something of a parallel to the plights of eastern European countries, who once fell victim to the domination of the erstwhile Russian Soviet Union.
However, Prague City Hall, which recently passed a sister city agreement with Beijing, did not take part in the event for the second year. Christian Democrat councilor Jan Wolf has explained, however, that the rules only permit the displaying of three flags – that of the Czech Republic, European Union, and the yellow-red Prague flag. Hence, not even the Chinese flag will be flown when president Xi Jinping will visit the city on Mar 28.